PopCap at PAX East 2012!

Another PAX convention has come and gone, and boy, are we tired.  Not that we’re complaining!  As mentioned in an early post, the Penny Arcade Expo is our very favorite convention in the whole wide world.  Where else can you find 70,000 nerds happily nerding out together in total nerd bliss? Still, all that nerding out can take its toll, especially if, like us, you also had a bit of work to do.

Our “work” (and yeah, we know, this isn’t exactly graveyard shift highway construction) was on two fronts: Promoting our latest Facebook game, Solitaire Blitz, at our booth, and shepherding our dancing zombies around the show floor.  One thing we learned at the show was that our zombies don’t have much in the way of peripheral vision with those big heads on, so if we weren’t on hand to keep them corralled together, they’d end up wandering off in different directions.  The great thing about that is we can now add “zombie shepherd” to our resumes, which with the coming apocalypse can only be a good thing.

Our booth was done up in a nautical theme, to fit the theme of Solitaire Blitz.  It looked pretty great! The ship’s wheel was a real ship’s wheel that you could actually spin around, if you were into that kind of thing,  and the bell was also real, though we tried not to ring it too much given how little sleep any of us got.

We had a couple items of shwag to pass out at the booth—PAX-branded Solitaire Blitz playing cards, and Otis the worm headbands, which you can see here:

We were aware going into the show that it might be a stretch to get folks to wear a headband with a worm on it on their heads, so we incentivized them by announcing that were giving away one very popular tablet device a day to someone we saw on the floor wearing the headband.  And we meant what we said! Here was the lucky winner from Day 3 of PAX:

Finally, our booth was also graced by the presence of a local Boston magician named David Hall, who performed a variety of amazing magic tricks at the booth – often conveniently using our Solitaire Blitz playing cards – throughout the weekend.  And believe us—this guy was good.  Some of us watched his tricks over and over for three days, and still couldn’t figure out how he was doing it.  Any fear we had that this was going to look like a bad 4th –grader’s birthday party was assuaged the minute he had us baffled. Which was with the very first trick he did.

As for the dancing zombies, what can we say? They rocked, as always.  If you’ve seen them before, either in person or on YouTube, you know how awesome this troupe is.  To pull back the curtain a little, we can tell you that this is a troupe of Seattle breakdancers, who, when not earning money doing things like wearing zombie costumes, travel around the world and compete in breakdance competitions.  They worked up a great routine for us, which you can see below,  but they also indulged in a some freestyle whenever they could, which even without the zombie masks would have been amazing. With the masks, we were blown away with their endurance, timing,  and athleticism.

Finally, your humble blogger here did his very best to make an utter fool of himself throughout the show.  The following photo, taken from Harmonix’s Rock Band Night at the Brattle Theater, is merely one example  We will let it speak for itself.  Though we apologize in advance for any psychological trauma it causes.

Our humble thanks to all of you who stopped by, said hi, watched the zombies, or grabbed some cards or headbands.  We had a blast, and hope you did too.  If you didn’t make it to PAX East this year,  we hope to see you at a future show!


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